Joe Alleva continues to bring unprecedented national recognition to LSU as Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. Under Alleva’s leadership, LSU enjoys one of the country’s premier athletics programs with success on and off the field of competition.
Now in his seventh year at LSU, Alleva is dedicated to athletic and academic excellence, and he is committed to providing the opportunities and the resources necessary for student-athletes to excel in competition, in the classroom and in the community. Alleva joined the LSU family on April 4, 2008 after a highly successful tenure as director of athletics at Duke University for 10 years. Alleva’s role at LSU was further expanded in August of 2009 when vice chancellor was added to his title by the LSU Board of Supervisors. It is the first time in school history that the director of athletics has also held a vice chancellor position.
Alleva is currently serving a five-year term on the prestigious NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, enhancing his reputation as one of the most respected athletic administrators in the country. Alleva has been appointed to numerous national committees throughout his career, including the Football Bowl Certification Committee, the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet and several Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference committees.
Upon his arrival at LSU, Alleva unveiled a strategic master plan for the LSU athletics program -- “LSU: Thru and True” -- to ensure the advancement and future of LSU Athletics as an exemplary enterprise. The central mission of the plan is to create an environment for student-athletes to reach their ultimate potential, prepare them to be champions in life and to set out goals and values for the entire athletics program.
Living up to Alleva’s mantra of “competition, classroom, community,” LSU student-athletes in 2013-14 logged more than 4,732 hours in community service work across 21 sports through LSU’s “Geaux Givers” program. And a total of 88 proud Tigers received their degrees from the university during LSU commencement ceremonies in December and May. LSU's overall graduation success rate for all student-athletes has grown from 69 percent in 2008 to 81 percent in 2013.
With a strong commitment to academics, Alleva ensures that the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a first-class facility that provides student-athletes the resources necessary for success in the classroom and personal development. And with an emphasis on community service and outreach programs, the implementation under Alleva’s direction of the “Geaux Givers” fosters a relationship between the local community and LSU student-athletes, who regularly participate in philanthropic events. Alleva has bolstered the athletic department’s L-Club program to reach out and connect with former student-athletes, and he has supervised the thriving “Project Graduation” program in which many former student-athletes have returned to LSU to earn their degrees.
Alleva’s tenure has been distinguished by a number of significant athletic achievements, including four straight 10-win seasons by the football team, a baseball national championship and two College World Series berths, two consecutive women’s basketball Sweet 16 appearances, three gymnastics Super Six berths, a softball College World Series appearance and 15 NCAA Top 5 finishes indoors and outdoors by the men’s and women’s track and field teams.
LSU under Alleva’s leadership claimed the 2009 baseball College World Series title, and the Tigers have earned 30 individual NCAA championships in the sports of men and women’s track and field, gymnastics, men’s golf and women’s golf. LSU has captured 12 Southeastern Conference team championships, including the 2011 football crown, and the Tigers have won 80 individual SEC titles during Alleva’s term. The Tigers in 2011-12 finished fourth in both the men’s and women’s Capital One Cup competition that identifies athletic excellence. LSU was one of only two schools in the country – and the only one in the SEC -- to rank in the top four in both categories.
LSU’s prominence was evident again in the final 2013-14 Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings that recognize the nation’s best athletic programs, as the Tigers finished in the Top 25 for the ninth consecutive year. LSU was the only school in the Southeastern Conference to post a 10 win-season (10-3) in football, a 20-win season (20-14) in men’s basketball and a 40-win season (46-16-1) in baseball.
The 2013 LSU football team recorded its seventh 10-win season in nine years and defeated Iowa in the Outback Bowl; the men’s basketball team earned 20 victories for the first time since 2009; and the baseball team won its fifth SEC Tournament title in seven years and was an NCAA Tournament National Seed for the third straight season. The Lady Tiger basketball team earned his second consecutive Sweet 16 berth, and LSU gymnastics, led by National Coach of the Year D-D Breaux, enjoyed the finest season in its illustrious history, finishing No. 3 in the nation.
The LSU men’s golf team recorded its highest national finish since 1967, as the Tigers placed third at the NCAA Championships. The men’s track and field team placed fourth and the women’s team sixth at the NCAA outdoor meet. The softball, volleyball, swimming and diving, women’s tennis and women’s golf teams each participated in NCAA postseason competition. The year was also highlighted by the inaugural season of the sand volleyball program, which gives more LSU female student-athletes the opportunity to compete at the intercollegiate level.
Alleva’s vision will keep LSU among the nation’s leaders in athletic facilities. In the fall of 2014, LSU opens the expansion of the South End Zone of Tiger Stadium -- a project that adds premium seating, general public seating and two state-of-the-art video boards -- continuing an effort to augment one of the most iconic venues in all of college sports. Since 2010, Alleva has directed an aggressive campaign to preserve and enhance the appearance of Tiger Stadium that has included the installation new windows, lighting systems, gating systems, and championship plazas.
Under Alleva’s direction, LSU’s world-renowned track and field program in 2010 received a new running surface in Bernie Moore Stadium, and extensive renovations to the Maddox Field House in the spring of 2014 give the Tigers a first-class indoor track and field venue. Alleva directed a major renovation to the University Club golf course that was completed in September 2010 and allows the LSU men’s and women’s golf teams to compete on one of the most challenging courses in the country. An overhaul of the LSU soccer facility was completed in the fall of 2011, converting the venue into fan-friendly venue that has attracted record-breaking crowds.
Future plans include a new gymnastics practice facility, a new tennis complex featuring indoor and outdoor courts, and a modern Nutrition Center for Student-Athletes, a facility that will house full-time chefs and nutritionists and provide the best dietary selections for all Fighting Tiger competitors.
Alleva is an innovator with bold ideas that benefit not only LSU but all of Greater Baton Rouge. He has been instrumental in the planning of the Bayou Country Superfest, a three-day country music concert and festival held in Tiger Stadium each spring. The event attracts over 100,000 visitors to the LSU campus and makes a tremendous economic impact upon the local community.
Alleva became director of athletics at Duke in 1998 and his impressive tenure there propelled the university into the ranks of America’s top all-around collegiate programs. Among his outstanding list of accomplishments includes the greatest 10-year period in Duke Athletics, winning more ACC and NCAA championships than in any other decade in school history.
Alleva, whose hometown is Suffern, N.Y., majored in Finance at Lehigh University and received his bachelor’s degree in 1975. While at Lehigh, Alleva was the quarterback of the football team and team captain in 1974. Alleva also played on the Lehigh baseball team. He served as a graduate assistant football coach and earned an MBA in 1976.
While at Duke, Alleva played a key role in Durham’s community sports scene. He started Little League Baseball in Durham over 20 years ago, and also began the American Legion baseball program.
He is a member of the North Carolina American Legion Hall of Fame, Suffern High School Hall of Fame and the Rockland County Hall of Fame.
Alleva and his wife, Annie, have three children, J.D., Jeff, and Jenny, and one granddaughter.